REALPOLITIK: Are US & UK Elite Special Forces Conducting A ‘Secret War’ In Ukraine?

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  • “…A source in the French intelligence community has claimed that elite special forces from both the UK and the US have been present in Ukraine since the start of hostilities with Russia in late February….The source reportedly told the French newspaper a Le Figaro last week, that the SAS and Delta Force were in Ukraine and Russia was well aware of the “secret war” being waged against its troops by foreign commandos”

Report Claims US and UK Elite Special Forces Conducting ‘Secret War’ in Ukraine

A source in the French intelligence community has claimed that elite special forces from both the UK and the US have been present in Ukraine since the start of hostilities with Russia in late February.

The source reportedly told the French newspaper a Le Figaro last week, that the SAS and Delta Force were in Ukraine and Russia was well aware of the “secret war” being waged against its troops by foreign commandos.

(Also Read: Americans Are “In Charge” Of The War Says French Journalist Who Returned From Ukraine @

The claim was reported on Saturday by the newspaper’s senior international correspondent Georges Malbrunot. This was the same day that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made his surprise visit to Kyiv.

(Also Read: NATO soldiers captured during special operation in Ukraine – Klimov @

Le Figaro is the oldest national newspaper in France and one of the most respected in the world.

RT reports: The British leader was reportedly surrounded by guards from the elite SAS force, though this claim was not officially confirmed.

SAS units “have been present in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, as did [sic] the American Deltas,” Malbrunot tweeted citing a French intelligence source. He added that according to the source Russia was well aware of the “secret war” waged against its troops by foreign commandos. Le Figaro included his report in their updates on Ukraine.

The UK and the US have been among the most active military supporters of Kyiv. Johnson reportedly personally urged his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to keep on fighting against Russia and not settle for peace until better terms are offered.

The western pro-fighting consensus was apparently confirmed last week by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who said on Saturday that the “war will be won on the battlefield” as he too was visiting Kyiv.

British media earlier reported that dozens of “retired” SAS soldiers had gone or planned to go to Ukraine to contribute their expertise in reconnaissance and anti-tank warfare to Kyiv’s cause. Their services were allegedly paid for by “a country in Europe, still to be named, via a private military company” rather than by the British government, according to the UK tabloid the Daily Mirror.

The Russian military reported action against what it described as “mercenaries” fighting for Ukraine on several occasions. One of the recent instances was on Saturday, just as Johnson and Borell were in Kyiv.

Josep Borrell Fontelles @JosepBorrellF

Touched by the resilience, determination and hospitality of @ZelenskyyUA & @Denys_Shmyhal. I return with a clear to do list: 1. This war will be won on the battlefield. Additional €500 million from the #EPF are underway. Weapon deliveries will be tailored to Ukrainian needs.

The Russian defense ministry said Kyiv attempted to use a civilian ship in its latest failed attempt to evacuate high-value personnel from the port city of Mariupol, which saw some of the most intensive fightings during the conflict. The individuals intended for evacuation were identified as leaders of the ultranationalist Azov battalion and foreign mercenaries. There are unconfirmed reports that hundreds of foreign nationals could be blocked in Mariupol along with several thousand Azov troops.

The US and the UK have publicly stated they had no plans to involve their troops in the fighting in Ukraine. Both are major suppliers of arms to Kyiv and were training soldiers in Ukraine before the Russian offensive. The experts were reportedly pulled out of the country in the run-up to the hostilities.

Britain’s Defence Ministry banned active service members from traveling to Ukraine in early March, saying that violating the rule could result in prosecution. Kyiv called on volunteers abroad to join the ranks of its newly-created “foreign legion” after the Russian attack.


Prepare for covert war in Ukraine

Khyber Pass Institute

Prepare for covert war in Ukraine

Reuel Marc Gerecht

If the West isn’t willing to watch Vladimir Putin win in Ukraine yet also aren’t willing to intervene directly to stop him, then they will likely need to devise extensive clandestine means to supply a nationwide insurgency.

So far, the West has had it easy.

With little planning or concern about Russian attacks, the Europeans and Americans have moved a lot of weaponry over the borders. The Russian advance has been ill-planned, poorly executed, and costly in materiel, soldiers, and surrounding civilian populations. Put another way, it has been more or less a typical Russian military campaign. Putin’s army may soon unravel. Its logistical lameness and ineptitude with combined-arms action have been stunning even for those who suspected that Moscow’s revamped, “professional” military wasn’t even close to U.S. standards. But Russian commanders will learn from their mistakes.

With heavy artillery and missiles clearing the way, they may grind forward. Russia’s formidable helicopter gunships, which almost neutralized the Afghan resistance, could become decisive quickly if the Ukrainians lack the means to shoot them down. The Russians could leave Kyiv surrounded and attack western Ukraine in massed numbers. In a long war, the delivery of military supplies and humanitarian aid could become vastly more difficult. A sensible American strategist would assume the worst-case scenario.

Are the CIA and the Pentagon ready for an unrelenting Russian advance?

Beyond the enormous covert task that would be required, the U.S. would need to position forces at the Polish and Romanian borders, the key staging grounds for clandestine routes, in case Russian planes, cruise missiles, or drones cross the border. On occasion, the Red Army blew up depots in Pakistan during the Soviet-Afghan war. U.S. forces will be essential to convince Putin that any attack on the Poles or Romanians will be treated as an attack on Americans — the sine qua non for effective deterrence. It’s been a while since the CIA undertook such a massive “covert” effort.

During the Soviet-Afghan war, most of the heavy lifting was done by the Pakistani army and the Afghan Mujahideen. A similar situation would happen with Ukraine, where the Ukrainian army or insurgents, if the army’s command structure collapses, would have to do the most dangerous work getting arms and humanitarian aid where it’s needed. The serious difficulties the Ukrainian forces have had in receiving targeting intelligence from the West will surely get worse if the Russians slowly crush larger units of the Ukrainian army. Ukrainian insurgents may well need lots of secure, high-speed devices that can communicate with Western intelligence services. Devices that aren’t compromising when they fall into Russian hands. We might also discover that Ukrainian units could operate more lethally and efficiently if they had European or American paramilitary intelligence officers embedded with them. Their capture is highly unlikely to provoke a wider war; are we prepared to deploy them if the Russians envelop most of the country?

If most of Ukraine is in rubble, if millions more have fled west, what happens then? The pressure in the West will surely grow on both the Left and Right for concessions to Putin. The French and the Germans, who have complicated and conflicted histories with Moscow, will likely be the first Europeans to pressure Kyiv to give up more ground to permanent Russian control as a means to stop the war. It will take resolve in the West to withstand the humanitarian ceasefire appeals, made by well-meaning Westerners and Russian propaganda, to ensure that Putin sustains a mortal battlefield defeat. It’s one thing to realize that no more “resets” are possible with this dictator; it’s another to realize that the only Western objective should be his fall.

A wounded Putin will undoubtedly seek revenge. As important, Xi Jinping needs to see that adventurism can topple autocracy. The Chinese overlord so far hasn’t broken significantly with Moscow. The cost to the U.S. for supporting Ukraine will be peanuts compared to what would happen if Xi made a move on Taiwan. If we don’t have the courage to support the Ukrainians, who are the ones dying, and our democratic European allies, to whom we are intimately intertwined, we won’t defend a much more distant Taiwan.

There never has been a plausible pivot to Asia. The two-war doctrine that dominated American thinking throughout the Cold War realistically assessed the threats in both Europe and the Far East. That assessment is no less true today: Fascist China is vastly more powerful and potentially aggressive than its communist predecessor; Putin’s revanchism has led to major war in Europe.

To avoid even worse, the White House should tell the CIA to start mapping out every conceivable way to bring lethal aid to Ukrainians, wherever they are fighting.

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former case officer in the CIA, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter @ReuelMGerecht. FDD is a Washington, DC-based, non-partisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.

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